Since 2000, the number of Americans with Internet access has more than doubled from 132.2 million to 274 million, according to Nielsen and NM Incite’s U.S. Digital Consumer Report. As such, it should be no surprise that online content is increasingly part of Americans’ entertainment fare. At the end of 2011, roughly one-third of consumers streamed long-form content such as a movie or TV show from the Internet through a paid subscription service like Netflix or Hulu-Plus.
The In-Home Streaming Experience: With 12 million unique video consumers streaming from Hulu and 6.2 million from Netflix from home computers in October 2011, these brands are two of the largest players in the online streaming of TV and movie content.
So, who’s watching on Netflix and Hulu on home computers?
Age: Interestingly, though 31 percent of Hulu’s audience falls into the 18-34 age range, more than a third of users are over the age of 50. Netflix skews slightly younger, with 40 percent of users in the 18-34 age range and 17 percent over 50.
Gender: Women make up the majority of users for both Netflix and Hulu—57 percent and 59 percent, respectively—and an even bigger share of time spent. They account for 64 percent of total time spent watching video content on Netflix and Hulu. This is particularly noteworthy, as women stream less online video overall than men, as noted in the recent Nielsen Cross-Platform Report.
Race & Ethnicity: Both services have an audience that is more than three-quarters white, with relatively even audience percentages for African-Americans and Asians.
Hispanics are more likely to watch video on Netflix than Hulu—making up 16 percent of Netflix’s audience compared to 11 percent for Hulu.